Monday, May 18, 2015

It was a Long Weekend!

Saturday Neil and I had a good training run for the V100. We went from Grouse Mountain to Deep Cove on the Baden Powell trail ~ 25 km. (And a taxi back to the truck at Grouse Mtn!) When we hopped into the taxi the driver asked us how we got to Deep Cove? On foot...via the Baden Powell trail! He was impressed. 

Sunday we climbed the BCMC trail which starts just east of the Grouse Grind. There were literally hundreds of people doing the Grind with it being a long weekend but for us on the adjacent BCMC, it was relatively peaceful. It is a steep difficult climb 853 meters (2, 800 feet) in 3 Km's. It was really muggy and the sweat was dripping from my forehead and stinging my eyes - forgot my favourite West Highland Way Buff which does the trick of keeping the sweat out of my eyes. Next time! 
Sometimes you come across interesting creatures on the trail. This little guy is on the Baden Powell in the Grouse section. Anyone know the story of who he is cheering on?? 
Rough terrain! The trail is very eroded. 
   New shoes! I think I was drawn to the colour. ;-) Tried them out today for 2 hours at Hayward               
Lake trail - they felt great! 
    There are plenty of signs warning of Cougars this year - the real Cougars that is! ;-) There have been many sightings on the trails. Run/hike in pairs! Be safe. They are big Cats! 
Here's Neil finishing the 110 mile Cateran Trail Race in the Spittal of Glenshee, Scotland a year ago this weekend. 26.5 hours!  The event ran again this weekend and I think Neil would have liked to have been there. It's a fantastic event on a beautifully scenic course. Congratulations to all the runners this year in the 55 & 110 mile events.

Neil and brother Graeme are doing the Marathon de Ben Nevis in September (64km). See you then! 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Running at Hayward Lake

This weekend we stayed at the farm and enjoyed running on the Hayward Lake Trail. This is my favourite running trail. It is very undulating which is such a good trainer. Saturday we did 2 hours as an out and back. They are still doing seismic upgrades on the hydro dam so you can't do a complete loop. Sunday we returned for 1 hour and challenged ourselves once again. 
They municipality has been doing trail work and built this bench at a place we often turn around at on summer mid week runs. How thoughtful!  Now we can sit and catch up on the day before the return leg!  
Fergus had a busy weekend! 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

More Vancouver 100 Training

Dave, Marla, myself and Neil at the top of Black Mountain. 
Craig took the photo! 
Saturday we went from the Hollyburn ski area to the top of Black Mountain (and back again) on the V 100 route. The snow has completely disappeared from 1 week ago. It's gone...all gone! We have had several years V100 outings post holing through the snow which is so scary! I am embracing the "no snow year"! Yah! 
The terrain is slow going and rough. Here is an old bridge that has danger signs on it not to cross. Of course some Team Dodgy members could not resist the bridge crossing. Filming it to boot to capture the demise of their dodgy friend. 
Here's Neil and I crossing the creek - the sensible way.  There are plenty of creek crossings Iike this on this section of the 100kms. 
The Birdman Dave and his friend the Whiskey Jack eating right out of his hand. They love peanut butter sandwiches. 
Sunday Neil, Fergus (dog) and myself went back out on the V100 route for 2 hours. Here's Fergus on the Seymour Grind. He flew up this rough steep climb. A strong trail dog determined to get to the top! 
Looking forward to a week of spinning, running, biking, TRX and of course the upcoming weekend trail outings! 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Vancouver 100 Training

Saturday Neil, Dave and I did a section of the V100 route that climbs from Cleveland Dam to Hollyburn Mountain. We went "up" for about 2 hours and then turned around. We were travelling in snow for a good portion of the outing. The snow was wet, slushy and slippery. Our feet were frozen!  There is presently more snow on the North Shore Mountains of Vancouver than there has been this entire winter!  What a crazy winter it has been. 
But lower down the daisies were flowering in the grass. Spring is here despite the recent snowfall in the mountains. 
Sunday Neil and I did another section of the V100 route from Deep Cove to Seymour Road. The first part of the trail was so busy with people going to "Quarry Rock" where there is a nice viewpoint over the water below. It wasn't that long ago that very few people hiked this trail but now it is very popular with tourists and locals alike. The trail erosion is quite bad. However, beyond Quarry Rock, the crowds disappeared. This was another outing with lots of climbing. The photo shows Neil at a new trail section that replaces the need to run down the road. It is longer and slower than if you took the road option but it keeps people off the busy road and this new section has been nicely constructed. Looking forward to more outings next weekend on the V 100 route. It is a tough one! 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Black Mountain from Nelson Creek

Today Neil and I met up with Kirsty and Glyn to hike up Black Mountain from Nelson Creek. It was good to catch up and reunite on the trails. Last summer we did several hikes together, Neil had mentioned to Glyn that this route would be a good stretch of the legs!
The hiking books rate this as: Difficult, 19km return, 1,184m (3, 884 feet) of elevation gain. 8 hours (we did it in 5hours with a good rest break at the top). We usually do this hike a couple of times a year as it features in a couple of local trail running events. It's a tough section for any event!
Lunch at the Top of the Bluffs on Black Mountain. The sun was warm and the visibility was good with views out to Vancouver Island. And the best bonus - no  BUGS! It's a little early in the season for the mighty black flies that make me react with swollen welts.
Glyn and I climbing - it is very steep! Very Steep!

Kirsty and I heading up the first scree field.
Looking forward to our next outing together.
 Here's Fergus cheering for the Vancouver Canucks. It is Stanley Cup Playoff time in Vancouver and ice hockey fever takes over the city.  Last year, Vancouver missed the Playoffs so there is much excitement this year as we take on arch rivals, the Calgary Flames in round 1. 
Go Canucks Go!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Diez Vista 2015

Saturday was Neil's 10th running of the Diez Vista 50km trail run. This event 11 years ago was also our first Ultra Marathon. (It didn't take place one year) We were both signed up to do the event this year which Neil was determined to complete but closer to the date I got into the funk that I wasn't going to do it. I completed the Dirty Duo 50km (52km) in good form a month ago and had some good outings on the trails since but somehow was lacking the desire to do the Diez Vista. It's a tough one, and this would be my 5th completion. I had been on the event trails a few times this year but I wasn't feeling like I had done adequate training on the course. 

Something changed for my mindset on Thursday evening and all of a sudden I became so proud of Neil and I for the many ultra events (160 between us) we have both completed since the Diez Vista 11 years ago. We have accomplished many great achievements in the last 11 years since our first Ultra. What an opportunity to celebrate by doing the event together! 

My thoughts never darkened once I made the decision to run. We towed the start line together and we had a great journey.  I was full of positive thoughts throughout the event. The power of celebrating all the good things we have done together and the fortunate life we have together. I had some niggling foot issues but nothing I knew I couldn't work through with electrolytes and a little Vitamin "I". 

At the start line - Wendy the RD giving us some updates. 
Route changes!!...listening closely. 
The route changes made the new route calculated by one of the runners to be 52km and 8,103 feet of elevation gain, 16, 207 feet of elevation change. No wonder my quads are tender today!
This photo was taken on a long rocky stretch heading to the finish with about 8km to go and one final major climb remaining. 
I am proud of this ultra! Most for how the power of positive thinking can influence our successes. Today the Olympic Cauldron was lit in Vancouver.  Five years on from the 2010 Winter Olympics, it is only ever lit for special occasions.  In our own way, we took this as a symbol of our own successful and highly enjoyable completion of Neil's 10th Diez Vista and my 5th! 
Thank-you Wendy, fellow RD's and volunteers for making this another great Diez Vista! 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Diet Vista Hike

Today Neil, Chris and I hiked the Diez Vista trail from Buntzen Lake. Yesterday Neil ran the Chuckanutt 50km run in Bellingham USA. As usual the event was wet and muddy! He did well and came in around the time he is consistent with for that event. I was just proud he went and did it considering the horrendous weather conditions. The weather yesterday on the coast was very stormy - heavy rain with thunder storms. The weather forecast predicted a few hours of dryness today which we managed to take advantage of and get out on the trails!  We took it nice and easy which is still a great work out due to the big climbs and rough terrain. We were out there for just over 4 hours and covered about 25 km which speaks to the roughness of the terrain. 
There are several views from the trail as you climb from Buntzen Lake. There were quite a few people on the trail today. We came upon a couple of ladies who had found themselves going around in circles and retracing their steps. Somehow they missed how the trail continues past one of the rocky view points. We suggested they stay with us and we would get them on their way in the direction they were hoping to go. Mission accomplished! 
Here's Chris and I enjoying a peanut butter sandwich once the major climbing was over. It always amazes me how the descent on this trail is so rough and technical. Glad I had the snack to keep my mind and feet coordinated for the descent. It felt good once we were down and on the Lake Shore Trail. Neil and I are both signed up for the 50km Diez Vista trail race coming up in a few weeks which includes this section of the trail. I'm looking forward to a few more outings in the area before the event. 
We met up with Kendall for coffee once we were done and her parting words were "you all need a bath". Thanks Neil and Chris for a good outing today. 
Happy Trails!